Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Here are links to some of our road trip tips to help make that family road trip a bit easier on everyone. Be sure to visit GetRoadReady.com, a Prestone-sponsored site that has tips for getting your car ready and offers free road trip games to print out. You can also visit GasBuddy.com to search for the best gas prices in your area.

    The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TXLooking for healthy road trip snacks? We’ve got you covered! We also answered a reader’s question reagarding healthy road food options. Got a heavy foot? Here are some tips for avoiding speeding tickets on a road trip? Are you having trouble financing your vacation? In a past contest I shared some of my family’s secrets to finding money for travel and also our tips for taking a vacation on a serious budget.

    Remember that you can always use our search button on the righthand side. We’ve tried to make things easier for you, whether dreaming about travel or actually planning a family vacation. Check out our Approved section where we list only the products will REALLY like. Please feel free to add your own road trip tips in the comment section and check back daily at TravelingMamas.com for more travel information.

    Have a safe road trip!

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  • Italy, Hawaii, Australia, Alaska, Ireland, Paris, and tropical getaways seem to be tops on everyone’s list of dream places to visit.

    The last time someone mentioned to me that they dreamed of going to Australia, I encouraged her to go. It happened to be my cousin, who came back after a two week tour to sell her condo and car and ended up moving to Surfer’s Paradise.

    We never know what path in life we may travel, but keep those dreams and actually plan to see these places. Some of you want to see family, others just want the excitement of seeing a new place. I know first-hand how awesome it can be to work towards the goal of a destination and the emotions that overwhelm you once you get there.

    Congrats to the following winners of William Joseph’s latest CD, Beyond. We hope you will travel to your dream destinations in the near future. Be sure to take your new CD with you on your journeys.

    Sharon Fairclough dreams of Paris. Bobv wants to see Tahiti. Flora Presley fantasizes about Greece and has a closer dream of Mount Rushmore. Debf would like to visit Australia (say hi to my cousin for me) and Andrea Bialy has a desire to see Lebanon.

    Congrats to all our dreamers. Check your email addresses so I can get a mailing address to send your prize. Remember that dreams can become a reality. Be sure to check out some of Traveling Mamas tips for saving. Instead of saying you would like to go somewhere, change your thinking and say you WILL go to that special place.

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  • Raise your hand if you wanted to go to Space Camp when you were a kid. Me! Me!

    US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, ALI used to spend every childhood summer in Huntsville, AL, the home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. I would beg my grandfather to take me to the Space Center so I could buy astronaut food, bring it back to his house, and suck on the freeze dried sponges of chocolate ice cream or strawberry sandpaper until the inside of my mouth was on the verge of bleeding. Then one day, this awesome movie called Space Camp was out at the theaters. This classic movie became the dream of kids for decades. Everyone wanted (and still wants) to go to Space Camp. Remember Max and Jinks?

    Well, guess what? You can go to Space Camp. Your kid can go to Space Camp (mine did). And, you can even go to Space Camp WITH your kid. How cool is that?

    The Space Camp experience isn’t cheap, but scholarships are available for a select few. However, getting the chance to live a childhood dream and inspire your own child is a priceless experience that your child will always remember.

    Simulator at Space CampI wish I could say that I had that parent/child experience, because I know I still want to go to Space Camp. Maybe I will keep that on my list of things to do, but after years and years of planning (and a little help from the grandparents) we were able to send our son to Space Camp for a week. He had the best time and learned so much. It was worth every penny.

    Even if you don’t get a chance to stay for Space Camp, all families can enjoy a day exploring the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL or any of NASA’s other space centers. You never know when you might have the chance to see something that will be inspiring to your child’s life.

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  • I’ve been searching for road trip music for all the many road trips I have planned this summer. I like to find tracks that go with the destination, kind of like my own soundtrack. I came across artist William Joseph, who released a new CD, BEYOND. I decided to do a little research on him and found out that not only is he a very talented pianist and composer, but he’s also a hottie (sorry single mamas, he’s married).

    William Joseph’s new CD offers a variety of compositions, like the forceful “Standing the Storm,” the edgy “Asturias,” also “Heroes” and the dramatic “Kashmir” which is a reworking of the Led Zeppelin classic

    William Joseph Beyond

    William says the title track sums up the entire album for him,” If someone asks me what my music sounds like, I would play the ‘Beyond,’” He says. “Making this album took me on an intense journey through all these feelings that I feel –romantic, hopeful, excited, intense—and I hope anyone who listens can relate, and go on that journey with me.”

    You can take William’s music with you on your own journey and it can be the soundtrack for your trip through the mountains, at the beach, or even in the air.

    Five lucky readers can win a copy of Beyond just by leaving a comment telling us the destination that is top on your life’s list of places to visit. Giveaway ends on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at midnight EST. Winners will have 3 days after initial contact to provide a mailing address or they will forfeit their prize. As always, US residents only and immediate family members of any Traveling Mama is ineligible to enter.

    For more information about William Joseph and his inspiring music, please visit his official website.

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  • I don’t know if it is because I’m a southerner, or because some of my “people” came from there, or if we always have a good time there, but the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is dear to my heart.

    Overlook of GatlinburgBack in the day, my parents would bring my brother and I to Gatlinburg where we would eat, shop, eat, hike, eat, and go places like Cherokee, The Nantahala River, and Silver Dollar City(which is now Dollywood). We’ve even been fortunate enough to spend a few Christmas holidays with our extended family in a cabin on a mountain. This is a big deal to those of us from South Louisiana, because the closest thing we have to mountains are the Mounds at LSU.

    It is only fitting that I schlep my children across the south to see this great wonder of childhood memories. Last summer I promised the kids that we would visit Sevierville, TN near the Smokies. However, Mother Nature had other plans for our family and Mr. CajunMama was sent off at the last minute to fight a wildfire somewhere out West. Not one to disappoint my little ones, I loaded up RedBugg and we headed out for parts unknown. ALONE.

    I mapped the route on MapQuest and we opted for a halfway overnight stop in Tuscaloosa, AL at a budget friendly hotel I found on Expedia. Things would have been perfect, but our entire hotel was decorated with ALABAMA ROLL TIDE paraphernalia. As an avid LSU Fan, I kept reciting to myself, “Around the bowl and down the hole, Roll Tide Roll.” This was of course, the only way I could make myself feel better about sleeping in Tuscaloosa.

    panning for gems at Rock CityAlong our route the next day we began to see old barns and rundown road signs painted with “See Rock City”. I decided to be a good mother and take my children to Rock City in Chattanooga, a place I fondly remember with little gnomes dresses in felt, hiding behind rocks, a waterfall, Fat Man Squeeze (which my brother and I would gasp in wonder that my dad could actually fit through), and the overlook where we could see seven states. Of course, the thing that impressed the kids the most was the doggie water fountain at the entrance.

    See Seven States at Rock CityI allowed the kids to take the map and lead the way. The first stop was an ice cream stand. Then there was the section where you could pan for gems in running water. Then there was the jeweler with items made from the gems found in the running water. FINALLY, we made it to Lookout Point. I sat in the shade with bowls of ice cream slowly melting down my arms as I watched my kids giggle and laugh and try to point out each state. I really missed my husband at that point, but I was so glad to have this memory, of the wind blowing my daughter’s hair and my son squinting at me with the sun glinting off his metal mouth grin. Sometimes having special time with just the kids is just that….very special.

    And to think we hadn’t even made it to the destination yet! Here’s to Mama Time.

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